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Scottish referendum voters should go with head, not their heart

One hundred years ago today on September 18, 1914, the United Kingdom changed irrevocably. The Irish Home Rule Bill completed its torturous Parliamentary journey and became law, albeit suspended for the duration of the First World War.

Historians, both amateur and academic, can discuss the outcomes and the effects, but the UK, and Ireland in particular, was never the same again.

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Any summary of these last 100 years, particularly from an Ireland perspective, should stand as a warning to Scotland today.

The great hopes of nationhood, of ill-defined freedom, were broadly realised but not always with positive consequences. Ireland suffered huge emigration, the economy of the Irish Free State and subsequently the Republic, with the exception of the over-hyped and unsustained Celtic Tiger, has never been secure and socially the years since 1914 were anything but progressive.

The new 'Ireland', or at least the southern 26 counties, entered a utopia based on the heart rather than the head.

Ultimately it is questionable whether the vote on Irish Home Rule 100 years ago was in the best interests of Ireland and thus I suggest that today, in Scotland, heads rather than hearts need to rule.



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